Better law-making agreement adopted by the Council

Council of the EU
  • 15/03/2016
  • 13:20
  • Press release
  • 135/16
  • Institutional affairs
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The Council, the European Parliament and the Commission will cooperate more closely to ensure a better delivery to European citizens and businesses. That is the main purpose of a better law-making agreement adopted by the Council on 15 March 2016. 

"This agreement is not just about how the EU institutions operate, it will actually deliver very real benefits for citizens and companies. Laws will become simpler to understand and implement. That will make the life of citizens, businesses and the administration easier", said Bert Koenders, the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands and President of the Council. 

The agreement improves the way the EU legislates in a number of ways:

  • Each year, the Council, the Parliament and the Commission will discuss the EU's legislative priorities and agree common top priorities for the upcoming year. This will allow the three institutions to work more closely together to tackle the big challenges which lie ahead
  • Impact assessments of new initiatives will become more comprehensive by taking account a wider range of aspects, including the impact on competitiveness, in particular for SMEs, administrative burden and the cost of not taking action at EU level. This will be done in full respect of the principle of subsidiarity. The aim is to ensure that EU laws are always based on well-informed decisions
  • The three institutions will evaluate existing EU laws with a view to simplifying them and avoid overregulation and administrative burdens, including through an annual burden survey. This is to make sure that EU laws are fit for purpose and do not put an unnecessary burden on citizens, companies and public administrations
  • A joint database on the progress of legislative files will be set up. This will enhance the transparency of the work of the three institutions and make it possible to the public to follow more easily the legislative procedure

Next steps

The agreement now needs to be signed by the Presidents of the three institutions. It will enter into effect the same day.